Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Marcos denies hand in Zubiri’s ouster as Senate president

Dwight de Leon

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Marcos denies hand in Zubiri’s ouster as Senate president

TOP OFFICIALS. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and then-Senate president Migz Zubiri in Malacañang in February 2024.

Zubiri's Facebook

'It was made by the senators,' Marcos says, adding that he has no idea what Zubiri meant when he claimed his removal was caused by the 'powers that be'

MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. distanced himself from speculations that he was behind Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri’s removal as Senate president.

Marcos denies hand in Zubiri’s ouster as Senate president

In an interview with Filipino reporters in Brunei on Wednesday, May 29, Marcos confirmed he was aware of efforts to oust Zubiri, since Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero informed him that he would try to vie for the country’s third highest post.

Marcos, however, claimed he did not talk to all parties until the issue had been resolved.

“It was made by the senators,” Marcos said, as quoted by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO). “That does not reflect on my view on Senator Migz and the trust and confidence that I have in him.”

Zubiri was forced to vacate the Senate presidency on May 20 after he was told that he no longer had the numbers to keep the seat.

In a succeeding interview, he said: “You know we’re not enemy of the powers that be. But because we’re not following instructions, we were targeted.”

Zubiri added that he saw his ouster coming because he allowed the Senate to continue its probe into allegedly leaked documents linking President Marcos to illegal drugs.

Marcos, however, said he has no idea what Zubiri was talking about.

“I guess if you’re Senate President, the only power that be is the President. So, I’m not sure what he is referring to, if that is a specific instance or just as a general principle. I don’t know. I haven’t spoken to him about it,” President Marcos said, as quoted in the Malacañang press release.

“The last time I spoke to him, we talked about the procurement law. This (Senate presidency) didn’t come up. So, it’s hard for me to answer simply because I’m not quite sure what he’s referring to because what instructions could there be that hindi niya natapos (he did not not accomplish),” he added.

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A day after Zubiri’s exit, Marcos congratulated Escudero and expressed his support for his leadership in the Senate.

The current Senate is composed of a super majority bloc who supports the President, and historically, the chief executive’s allies in Congress do not go behind his back to install their own Senate president or House Speaker without the President’s approval. – Rappler.com

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.